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HeroScape General Discussion General discussions of packaging, terrain, components, etc. If it doesn't fit in any other official category, put it here.


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  #1  
Old June 14th, 2012, 07:33 AM
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Glottengeich Glottengeich is offline
 
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Opening up a Business?

Hi there, I've been playing hersocape for almost a year now, and I've been enjoying the binges every couple of months to order some heroscape and heroclix. Now I was wondering, how would I acquire opening up a website/business that sells these to people? I am very curious and would love too! I enjoy the game so much I would love to have everything in stock for people.


Thanks for reading!

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Old June 14th, 2012, 09:59 AM
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Re: Opening up a Business?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glottengeich View Post
Hi there, I've been playing hersocape for almost a year now, and I've been enjoying the binges every couple of months to order some heroscape and heroclix. Now I was wondering, how would I acquire opening up a website/business that sells these to people? I am very curious and would love too! I enjoy the game so much I would love to have everything in stock for people.


Thanks for reading!
Well, you would first have to get some stuff in stock-but with Heroscape, that's pretty much impossible now, because it's FSO...

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  #3  
Old June 14th, 2012, 10:26 AM
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Re: Opening up a Business?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glottengeich View Post
Hi there, I've been playing hersocape for almost a year now, and I've been enjoying the binges every couple of months to order some heroscape and heroclix. Now I was wondering, how would I acquire opening up a website/business that sells these to people? I am very curious and would love too! I enjoy the game so much I would love to have everything in stock for people.


Thanks for reading!

My advice: Don't do it.

If you do, look at Auggie's sites (his selling and buying sites) as I think he does a fantastic job. His prices are pretty reasonable on both sides given what the market (Ebay) is. It is because of his sites that I would advise you not to start a business. This is such a niche market, and Auggie already does such a fine job of catering to it. You would be playing catchup to him, and he isn't really overcharging so you couldn't undercut his prices and still make a profit for yourself.

And as Awesomeunleashed said, you would need to build up an inventory, which would likely be in the $5,000-$10,000 to get a decent starter inventory with a couple of copies of everything.
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Old June 14th, 2012, 10:54 AM
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Re: Opening up a Business?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glottengeich View Post
Hi there, I've been playing hersocape for almost a year now, and I've been enjoying the binges every couple of months to order some heroscape and heroclix. Now I was wondering, how would I acquire opening up a website/business that sells these to people? I am very curious and would love too! I enjoy the game so much I would love to have everything in stock for people.


Thanks for reading!
Getting web site is easy. Just google eCommerce and a bunch of different companies come up. We use 3dcart and at our volume level it's $90 a month though I'm consistently over on bandwidth so I'm going up to the next level soon which is 120 a month.
After you get a site and a domain, you'll need to accept payments in some from. I use Paypal and accept credit cards through them as well. Paypal carges .30 per transaction plus 2.9% of the sale.
All these eCommerce sites will track your sales so you'll need that info for taxes and Paypal also sends a statement to you (and the IRS) at the end of the year.
Next you'll need to figure out how to mail items. I think the cheapest and best solution is USPS. There are a couple of home programs where you can print postage out on your computer and confirmation numbers are cheaper if you do it yourself as opposed to going down the post office. I use stamps.com but used to use endicia which I actually liked better but the tracking info and record keeping was on the host computer only. Since we have 3 different computers in use we needed to access the info on multiple comps.
Finally, you'll need to make ads and set the site up and make your site.

This isn't something that super hard or really very expensive but there are ongoing costs so you will have to sell enough product to make that amount back + all the time you put into it AND replace the product you do sell. The biggest problem is getting a customer base. I would actually suggest using Ebay and making a webstore there first which works almost exactly like any other webstore but they make it easier to set up and it's a tad cheaper on fixed cost BUT you will have to pay about 11% (called FVF or Final value fee) on sales. We maintain 2 stores, one on Ebay and one Webstore and if you notice our Ebay store is about 15% on average more because of this fee. It's still worth it to us to have the ebay store because we get NEW customers from there and when they order we send a flyer telling them about our off ebay store.
Now if all this hasn't discouraged you and you have more questions feel free to post and I'll do my best to answer (I won't tell you ALL our secrets though )
......Andrew (aka auggie)

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  #5  
Old June 15th, 2012, 03:58 AM
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Re: Opening up a Business?

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Originally Posted by Auggest View Post
This isn't something that super hard or really very expensive but there are ongoing costs ... The biggest problem is getting a customer base.
Not to sound like an economist or anything, but if its easy to enter a market then generall you won't make a lot of profits doing it. Talk to anyone who owns a restauraunt, or better yet someone who tried to open a restauraunt and failed. And a restauraunt costs a heck of a lot more than selling over the internet.

The only saving grace in web sales is that customers tend to be loyal, because they don't trust the other guys and you're a known quantity. But that means that a starting business will have an even harder time breaking in.

Follow Andrew's advice, use eBay first (there's a reason they can charge more) and if that starts flying then go for a full independent web store.
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  #6  
Old June 18th, 2012, 08:08 PM
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Re: Opening up a Business?

I can only speak for the B&M store side of things. I've had mine for almost 2 years now. I knew quite a bit about what to expect because of several years of research, but I was still unprepaired and had to learn a lot more. Just a few things that should be said here but there is really far more.

- You will not make money. You better have enough money saved up to live off of for 2 years, or a good paying part time job and the ability to live off of 4 or less hours of sleep each night. All of the money you earn will have to go right back into the business until you have a good solid customer base and a regular routine of ordering and restocking, this will take 2-5 years.

- You will never be off work. If the store is closed your job is to advertise. Also people watch what you do more closely. Every person you walk by could be a potential customer and if they don't like something about you they will not spend money at your store.

- Be flexible. That is an understatement in this world. You can make all the plans and plan B's and plan C's that you want, but they will still not work as plan. You have to be able to adjust on the spur of the moment.

- Don't trust anyone. There are a lot of scams out there that target small business, such as credit card service providers and advertising consultants. Evaluate every expenditure to see if it is going to really help your business and if it is a scam.

- Don't trust anyone (part 2). Customers will lie to you to make them seem more important or knowledgable than they really are. Smile and nod to them but take everything they say with a grain of salt. They aren't going to buy anything until they have actually given you money, so don't assume that they will buy that full box of magic boosters just because they said. 90% of the time they will not have the money after all because of car problems/health problems/sick grandma/whatever. If your ordering something special for them ask for at least 10% up front, if they can't come up with that then they aren't going to buy it anyway.

-Whatever you think your going to make in the first year, cut that in half. If you can make that much then it was a good first year.

-Sales are not the same as profit. If you can save $300 and lose $300 in sales you have actualy made a profit. It takes about $1000 in sales to make up $400 in expenses. Another good example. I made about $300 a month more by accepting credit cards in sales yet I'm still better off without them. It was costing me about $150 a month to accept them. Math would tell most people that I was making $150 more by taking credit cards. That is not true, I was really making about $50 less. Not only that but it caused more problems. I do much better by having lower prices and reimbursing for ATM fees.

-Fluttershy is cute. This has no relevance to game store ownership, but is an important fact that you need to know. I don't know how I survived before without knowing that.

-Finally, be friendly but don't make friends. If you make friends with all your customers then they will expect favors and want to hang out even when they have no money. You want to make them feel welcome and want to come back, but you can't afford the loss in profits. Also having a clique can be bad for the business.

I hope that has been effective in scaring educating you about some of the quirks of game store ownership. As long as you believe these things are true and plan for them then owning a game store can be a rewarding experience. I certainly do not regret doing it, even though I've had no personal income in 2 years. It can be a lot of fun and it is always great to have pleased customers.



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Old June 18th, 2012, 10:03 PM
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Re: Opening up a Business?

Glottengeich appears to be in Canada.

If there are enough Canadian buyers, he may be able to tap into a mark Auggest isn't reaching.

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Old June 18th, 2012, 10:20 PM
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Re: Opening up a Business?

Nice observation, D_S.

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